Nestled within the foothills of the Western Ghats is Rajakkad Estate, in the village of Manjelparappu, Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. We were traveling from Athoor and was moving uphill, even in the mid summer, the temperature started dropping. We were on a familiarization trip around Tamil Nadu and our agenda was to have lunch at this beautiful setting.
Rajakkad Estate is a seven room bungalow or “Illam” – traditional home that is recreated in Manjelparappu. The property was originally an 18th century summer palace of the Travancore Maharaja in Nelliyampathy hills of Palakkad, Kerala. It was dismantled in Palakkad (Kerala) and rebuilt here at the Estate merging itself to the new environment.
The Estate is about Jackfruit trees, Pappaya, Coffee, Oranges and pepper creepers crawled into most trees. The place is calm and cool, with sweet melodies once in a while, from bird friends of Rajakkad. The Eco system here is very much organic taking you close to nature. They have a few cows and calves, and produced a lot of milk and other dairy products. We spotted a few birds and a giant Malabar squirrel. The workers stay within the Estate and one could join them in their daily activities and be a part of the Estate. You could go for soft treks and nature walks around the Estate and am sure someone who appreciates nature and her beauty will love these hikes.
You might not really feel it like a palace, but it is a large bungalow with seven different rooms with an en suite bathroom and a door way to the garden. The cozy rooms are traditional in style and have contemporary elements of design making it a fusion. A courtyard is in the center of the house, made into a pond with a few plants and fish. A library is next to the dining area where you have an array of books to explore during your stay. Chairs and hammocks are put in the gardens for people to sit and enjoy the serenity of Rajakkad sipping tea, coffee. The floors are tiled with rough granite and cemented with red oxide, which adds to the cooling effect. Food is prepared by local cooks and they have a fixed South Indian menu that includes both Veg and Non Vegetarian, you will love it for sure. Television has no role to play here! You get local newspaper and of course you are connected (Wi-fi). In total, Rajakkad Estate is a calm retreat to nature in royal style.
The nearest city to Rajakkad is Madurai (80 Kilometers), it has an airport and a railway station. From Kerala, you could connect Rajakkad Estate from Munnar and Thekkady which are within the Western Ghats. Visit www.rajakkadestate.com to reserve your room.
Written by Benjamin John